Why I Write This Blog

Not long ago, one of my fellow bloggers, Alex, offered to send me a list of questions to re-evaluate my blog – from the standpoint of what my goals were concerning it. I have to say that the questions were damn good and they covered a lot of ground – and frankly, I’m still grappling with the answers to many of those questions. However…

One thing I have realized or perhaps, re-realized is that there were a lot reasons I started it, a lot reasons I continued it, considered getting rid of it, went to self-hosting, and have kept at it – but beneath all those many reasons which are all valid in their right there is one over-riding reason that I write this blog. In a word – Communication.

I am very big on communication, I always have been and I always will be. I believe that it is not guns, wars, politicians, psychobabble, any kind of ‘ism’, social programs, tax dollars, medications, et.al. that is the universal solvent or solution – but rather it is communication. Not talks or summits or deals, or any of the crap that comes out of officials leaders’ mouths or people running to become official leaders, but real, live communication. Where people actually sit down and discuss an issue or topic, listening and then responding in a way that shows they have been listening and originating new thoughts, ideas, and solutions to the dialogue toward the end of reaching a real and true understanding. If people, no matter who they were, what they were or where they were did that, so many of the problems in the world would not exist. Unfortunately, I don’t believe there are a lot of great true communicators in the world or not enough of them to make the difference needed.

Sure there is a lot of talk, a lot of dialogue but not really much communication. Honest to goodness communication, where understanding is the ultimate goal. Anybody can talk. Not everyone can communicate. I don’t know why this is but I do know that it’s true. How many times have you experienced having a conversation with someone and then realizing that they really either weren’t listening or they weren’t understanding what you were saying? We all have. And it’s frustrating to feel like you have something to say that you want to be understood by another and know that it isn’t.

I talk about a lot things here – from the ridiculous to the profound. Big questions and little questions. Some of it is absolutely intended to make you laugh, brighten your day in some small way. Maybe make going to or sitting in that cubicle a little better. A small act, true, but one that can’t hurt. Some of it is to make you think – whether about current events, social issues, political actions, belief systems or just maybe even another point of view to consider. Some of it is to make you feel, Theme Fridays come to mind – I like the idea of enticing you into a different world where surprising and even happy things can happen, to enchant you, inspire you, or even make you cry – hey every woman knows that a good cry can be better than a bottle of Prozac any ol’ day. But ultimately, no matter what I write here my intention is to get you to talk – to exchange talk with me. To communicate.

The purpose of this blog is create dialogue of me with you, you with me, you with others – the whole nine yards. It is why I welcome each and every person who makes a comment, why I respond to each and every comment, why I link to you guys in my posts – and I kind of think, it’s why you come here. I am all about the communication, bringing people together to have communication and spreading the seeds of communication out there. I have often referred to this blog as my big kitchen table where there is always a place for anyone who comes by, where everyone is welcome and there is always a big pot of hot coffee brewing and usually cookies or something to nibble on. The more the merrier, as far as I’m concerned. I think of you all (no matter how well I do or don’t know you) as part of the gang, part of the family – we may not agree, we may even bicker from time to time but we’re still all for one and one for all to coin a terrible cliche.

So in the end, this blog is not about stats, or being a power blog, or selling crap, or writing pillar articles or forcing my views on anyone about anything. It is just about getting people talking to each other and reaching for that little bit of extra understanding while they are also reaching for that next doughnut.

As always, I thank you for reading, I thank you for visiting and I really really thank you for communicating and playing this game with me.

On Politics

Throughout my adult life I have had a love/hate relationship with politics, although no matter where I have sat on the political spectrum I have always found it fascinating. It may surprise you but I have never been registered to any political party specifically – I have always been registered as a non-partisan or whatever the equilvalent is in whatever state I’m residing in – in California I am a “decline to state”. And while my political views are decidedly closer to the conservative side it does not make me a Republican as some seem to think. However, I will say that by and large I tend to agree more with Pubbies then I do with the Libbies. It just sort of works out that way. Which has always been a source of consternation for my die-hard Democrat family and poor dear father who is probably quaking in his grave at the the thought that I would have voted against Bill Clinton, Algore, John Kerry, et al. The reason however, that I have never aligned myself with a specific party is because I do believe that there are always exceptions to the rule and that I want to stay as open to that as possible so I do not pledge myself to either of the main parties and probably never will.

That being said my latest addiction to politics began with the 2000 election cycle and carried through pretty much all the way to last year. That I’ve had a particular dislike for the candidates running on the liberal side of things has made me more of a champion of the conservative side of things – and it leaves me wondering why the hell the Dems never seem to find anybody that I can like, trust or believe. But what’s a voter to do, know what I’m saying?

And as many of you probably already know that when Annie throws herself into something, she throws it full force. No halfway crap for me, I’m in or I’m out – nuff said. But somewhere along the beginning of this year I started to realize that politics was shortening my life or more to point it was boiling my blood and I found that I was angry far too much of the time. Short tempered, grumpy, cranky, argumentative and just an overall bitchy kinda gal – so for the first time in many years I turned off talk radio, I stopped going to Drudge, and any of the larger political sites, stopped watching the news, reading the newspaper. To my surprise and delight I started to feel better. I found I wasn’t pissed all the time and in fact, there was life after politics. This made me smile. So I continued not doing all the above things and I continued to feel better. And it dawned on me that like the economy I had come to the end of a seven year cycle. And it felt good. LOL.

And I’m sure a lot my regular readers have noticed that there are not nearly the political posts on this blog that there used to be. That I am less inclined to debate about politics with anyone, reader or stranger and that we’ve been concentrating more on other topics. This is no accident, this is intentional. I needed a break to put it plainly and maybe so did you, I don’t know. Also too, it may be that some of you who are into the fray in this arena have noticed that I don’t comment quite so much on posts of a political nature especially if they moving in the direction of contention – again this is intentional as 1) I don’t feel like arguing and 2) I’m not in the loop like I used to be and 3) Politics really hasn’t changed all that much in the last 100 years. But let me assure you it’s not personal, nor does it have anything to do with your blogging style or my fanship of your writing. Okay?

I will continue to read with interest my usual battery of blogs that cover politics because they for the most part are keeping me in the loop – and that’s about all I’m going to be allowing for my political diet for some time to come. Anyway, I guess that’s my point. I’m feeling better and a lot happier not having worry about all the play by play of this sometimes nasty game (very nasty) – and beyond keeping myself informed of the general nature of things am not bothering with it too much. I’ll still do the stray commentary now and again but I’m thinking we’re moving toward more happy topics. Okay?

Heads Up

Hi Guys,

This is a quick one. Our dear friend and fellow blogger Joan Harvest asked me to pass on a message to you all. Sadly, her son has hit a rough patch and has reverted to drug use once again. Naturally, this is a distressing situation for Joanie and she’s not really feeling up to blogging right now. And she wanted you all to know that she is taking a few days to sort things out and will be back blogging then.

She loves you all and do feel free to send her an email if you like, to say hi and so forth. In her words:

If you could just let everyone know that Damon is in rehab, that I’m fine but need a little break from blogging but I will be back and if anyone wants to e-mail me that would be fine too. I just don’t want everyone to think I’ve disappeared. I also don’t want to put it on my blog. I have to respect Damon’s wishes. He has a friend who reads the blog and might tell others in town and he wants to just keep it quiet. I just can’t think of anything to write on my blog now. My mind seems to just be on Damon

So Joanie, you take care of yourself and if you need anything just let us know and we’ll be there for you, hon.

Are You Blogging Naked?

Don’t get your panties in a twist and keep your shirt on for crying out loud. I don’t mean that kind of naked. It was more metaphor than literal. You know, like the naked truth or the naked city (of which there are apparently 10,000,000 stories)?

I started thinking about this because recently a friend of mine had mentioned they’d been reading my blog as a way of ‘keeping up’ with me and what was going on in my life. And they said, quote, “I really admire what you do there, you’ve got to have a pair of big brass ones to what you do.” Meaning I guess putting it all out there for the world to see. It gave me pause because I don’t really think that I do have a pair of ‘big brass ones’ I am just you know, me. She says with a bit of a confused look on her face. So the concept that someone would read my blog and think I was bearing my soul? Revealing myself? Something like that made me wonder if it was too much. I mean, really who wants to know the inner workings of Writer Chick, after all? I’m not famous, have never done anything heroic or stupid enough to land in the newspapers and I get no special treatment at the local Starbuck’s so what’s to see here?

But it also got me wondering about the rest of you guys. Are you laying it all out there? Is that really why we blog and what we’re doing here? And if so, how come? Scarcity of friends, or people who care to know or does it have something to do with self expression, some need to put it all out there to see what will happen? I really don’t know, do you?

In my case, I don’t really think I’m being all that revelatory – most of the things that I discuss I would discuss with someone in a conversation – you guys certainly don’t know anything about the color of my underwear, how often I shave, my sex life, my love life, or any direct information about my soft underbelly. Though I have shared hopes and dreams, they in my opinion are common among people and none of mine are any big secret. But I will say I strive to be honest about whatever writing about, whether it’s an incident in my life or an opinion on current events. That is something I’ve done on this blog and have aspired to do, to find that honest place from which to communicate. I think we all look for it, want it, hope for it and use when we can find it. Maybe it’s a writer thing that desire to put honesty in what you write, no matter how trivial or important. I really don’t know. But I don’t regret one word, one comma or one post. It is what it is.

Still, I’d like to know about you guys. Are you all laying it out there? Are we really swinging our big brass ones when we blog? Should we be? Does it matter? Would you rather be baking Evyl’s cookies?

I'm a Bloggy Writer

Apparently, I am. I was told in no uncertain terms quite recently by another writer that I was a ‘bloggy writer’. Hmm, I thought – I think that’s an insult. I do believe they also threw in the term cynical while they were at it. Again, hmmm – yup, that was definitely an insult.

But here’s the thing even if it is true, why should that be an insult to me? It takes an enormous amount of work of work to put together a blog and maintain a blog, gain an audience and keep that audience engaged. Between my two blogs I have written a total of 850 posts over 25 months – I gotta get some love for that, don’t I? I mean just the sheer volume of it, has to say something about me as a writer, doesn’t it?

Now granted not all of those posts were writing per se – some are vids, some are toons, some are quotes but I dont’ think I’m exagerating when I say that close to 90% is writing – just writing, whether opinion pieces, rants, humor, fiction, poetry, political analysis, satire, or parodies. I’ve written a helluva lot of words over the past two years on these blogs and for the most part I’m damn proud of those words.

In addition to that, I have written thousands more words in my work as a freelancer for websites, ads, business copy, etc. And let’s not even go into the novels. So, I’m thinking I’m nearing a pretty big number when it comes to my overall output of words. Yes, I hear some of you saying but quantity is not necessarily quality. Well, okay that’s true. However, between the two blogs, I have gotten close to 200,000 hits – that has to mean something doesn’t it? I think it might mean that somebody somewhere is reading me. What do you think? Am I right or am I wrong?

And even on the quality issue, the way you do anything I believe if you want to succeed is in this sequence: quantity, quality, viability. In other words, first let’s get the production up, let’s get writing, then let’s work on improving that production without losing momentum, and then finally let’s pick out the best of the best.

While not all bloggers are writers proper it is my belief that not all writers can be bloggers. There is a certain savvy that is necessary to succeed as a blogger and it’s not just a bunch of beautiful words, though those don’t hurt, it is a mixed medium with actual interchange of ideas with others – it’s visual, audio and text. It’s the whole enchilada. And it’s intensive training in my humble opinion for any writer who wants to become good at their craft because they have to run the whole production, they have to learn to write on deadline if they hope to keep their audience and they have to learn to improve to keep their audience and the interchange happening.

Hey who knows, Pulitizer may someday come out with a best in blogging award. If Algore can get one I figure all of us have a chance.

So while being a bloggy writer may not make me a proper writer, it does make me a very productive and fast thinking, fast typing, happy writer. And without these blogs there are so many things I would have never thought to write about, think about and talk about – without these blogs there are so many ideas I would never have been exposed to, so many viewpoints I’d never have known about or shared, so many, many things – so, I’m thinking being called a bloggy writer might not actually be an insult at all. What say you?

I Got Nothin'

Okay, so this week my brain has been completely empty of all discernible thought. I’ve sat here and sat here trying to think of something, interesting, witty, funny, profound and even stupid to say and well….I’ve got nothin’

Zero, Zilch, Zip. Nothing there folks. The well is dry. I currently can’t put two words together that make any sense and well shit, sorry. If anybody has any ideas, thoughts or suggestions, I’m open – as long as it doesn’t involve mud wrestling midgets.

Leave 'em Laughing

An old adage from show business, which I suspect started in the Vaudeville days. The logic being that if you could keep the crowd laughing and happy, no harm in the form of a giant hook would come after you. Yep, that would be me. I am that girl. I have been since I can remember. There is just something in me that has always been able to coax a laugh out of anyone. Even people who despise me.

And when you learn something early on in life, it gets used a lot and also, it becomes part of your arsenal of survival. I wouldn’t say I grew up in an unhappy home – but there was a lot of fighting and noise and my mother bless her heart is one high strung woman. Apparently, it was for her, that God gave me this gift. It seemed no matter how upset she would become I could always manage to crack her up. As long as I could stay detached it worked out pretty well.

So, I grew up with this weapon of humor. There were points in my life that I had a repertoire of 200-300 jokes and I could literally tell jokes for 2 hours straight, barely taking a breath in between. Which was good because I was kind of scrawny and geeky when I was a kid and it was probably the only thing that kept the popular kids (read bullies) from humiliating me along with the other geeks and stuffing me in trash cans and lockers. Needless to say, I developed this talent to a veritable art form expanding from mere humor and jokes into witty repartee, sarcasm and ascerbic adventures and continued to hone it through the years.

So much so that it became just who I was. And I have to say that for most of my life I have always thought of myself as the funny chick. You know, not the pretty one, not the popular one, not the smart one, not the talented one, the funny one. That was my personna. Don’t believe me, ask anyone who knows me to describe me, the first word out of their mouth will be funny…. and, so on.

So, when I got the blogging bug, as so many of us have, what would make more sense than to do funny stuff. Write funny pieces, stories, anecdotes, satire, political rants seasoned just right with a blend of sarcasm and potty jokes. Yup – that was Writer Chick. Nobody ever came to my blog without leaving with a smile on their face. I can promise you that was the case. Because you see, it was the goal. Though secretly I longed to write other things, well actually I did, but I longed to post them here. And actually I did a couple of times and as Michael likes to say, ‘they went over like a fart in church’. So, I knew that wasn’t going to fly – yet I still had the need to write the ‘other’ stuff. So, I started another blog so that I could do that – and no this is not an invitation for people to ask about the other blog and get a link and visit, because if that blog was something you wanted to read it would already be on your radar – in other words don’t worry about that.

But the point I guess, if there is a point, which I’m seriously beginning to wonder about – is this, I got myself into this mindset that the only reason anybody came here was so they could get laugh and then move about their business. And in essence sort of created my own monster, no one made me feel that way it was wholly created by me. Nonetheless, the blog began to feel a little bit like a prison that held me in a certain cell and would not let me out in the exercise yard. And I started to really think that my only worth in the blog world was the laughtrack. Again, this was me making me think this, no one else. But it made me restless and made me want to pull the plug on the blog, made me want to do something else – yet somehow I just couldn’t quite get there, let it all go. 500 plus posts, all the hours, all the time, all the energy – I couldn’t quite throw it in the trash.

So then the new solution became self hosting. It was going to somehow make me feel that I wasn’t trapped in the good humor truck and that I could offer other flavors of ice cream and it would be new and exciting. Well, not so much. With the new blog now, not only did I have a litany of crap I had to learn and clearly didn’t understand on the technical end, I lost my page rank, my stats tanked and I wasn’t sure if anyone was reading at all, funny or not. Crap! Now what?

Well, slowly but surely I believe I have evolved if one can do such a thing in the blog world. I like the humor, truly I do and lately I’m missing it – and I want to round it up again – but also have other things to say. Things that aren’t funny, that may even be quite serious or a bummer, but I’m okay with it now. Because the truth is I am the funny chick and I will always be, but now I know I don’t always have to be funny. That’s actually pretty cool and somewhat of a relief, you know what I mean. And crap, I hope this post made some sense.

10 Reasons Why it's Good to Take a Week Off Blogging

Hey everybody, I’m back and thanks to all the fabulous guest posters who gave me the time off I needed last week. You’re all wonderful bloggers and good friends and I appreciate it more than you know.

So, the week was good for me and I’ve realized that every now and again it’s good to take some time off from the routine and here are a few reasons why:

1. Eventually you run out of recipes and need some time to find some new ones.

2. Your hands are not really intended to take on the shape of crawling crabs and it is much easier to smoke when you can extend your fingers.

3. You occasionally need a day when the thoughts, “I am so blogging this,” “what the hell am I’m going to post today?”, “Why doesn’t YouTube have decent vids anymore?”, and similar thoughts aren’t dancing around your brain.

4. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and your eyes can indeed adjust to natural light again if you just give it a a day or so.

5. Reading an actual book doesn’t make your eyes hurt and can easily be taken to a park, a chair, the backyard or the beach without missing a thing.

6. A day without email can be filled with adventure and new discoveries instead of viagra ads and old jokes and get rich quick schemes.

7. Life has a beautiful rhythym of its own and everything does not have to go at lightning speed and sometimes it’s better when it doesn’t.

8. Barbecues in the backyard, stars in the sky, nightblooming jasmine, hummingbirds at the feeders.

9. New ideas come unexpectedly and allow your mind to grow.

10. Sleeping is a good thing.

Granted, not one of my usual funny lists – though that was my original thought. But the mind goes where it wants to sometimes.

Women + Blogosphere = Impact – Part III

Okay, now it’s my turn on the hot seat and honestly, I don’t mind one bit. Several of the ladies who participated in this post were curious as to what my answers would be to these questions, so if for nothing else, this is for them:

1. What do you believe is the difference between men and women bloggers – e.g. approach, subject matter, readers, etc.

While there are male bloggers who can do the sensitive thing and female bloggers who can do the kickass thing, I do believe that women bloggers are more personally interested and caring about their blogs, their readers and how whatever topic they are writing about will affect the people who read it. It may be the inborn nurturing nature of women who brings this about – but to me it is very obvious.

2. Do you feel men bloggers have a greater impact in the blog world than women – such as more readers, more loyalty, wider range of topics/interests, greater appeal to male and female readers alike, etc.

I do think that male bloggers are taken more seriously. Regardless of topic. Even the ones who write poetry or prose or the touchy feely stuff – perhaps especially, because you know it’s like a big deal when a man reveals his deepest feelings, right? But not so much when women do? WTF? I mean, seriously – why is this?

3. When you decided to start blogging – did you have a particular effect/impact you wanted to create? If so, what was it? Did it change once you started blogging?

Primarily, I wanted to get writing more regularly, wanted to create something that would demand I give time to writing and quite honestly, I wanted to know if strangers would respond to what I wrote. Has it changed since I started? Yes and no – it certainly does demand I write regularly, lest I have an empty blog with no posts. But I am finding that I have an urge to write more meaningful posts, explore new topics, ideas and approaches. Blazing new blogging frontiers? Probably not, but maybe new writing fronteirs because long before I was a blogger I was a writer and honestly that’s all I really consider myself to be.

4. Regardless of whatever effect you set out to create by blogging, do you feel that you’ve had an impact by being a female blogger? If so, how and/or in what way? Who/what did you impact?

I do believe I’ve had an impact, in many ways. There are people who have flat out told me that something I wrote made them think, change their perspective, help them face a problem they were avoiding, feel good, laugh. It’s very gratifying when someone tells you that you made their day in some way. Writing something that touches another human being and somehow helps them is the stuff that reaches straight down into my guts and grabs ahold tightly. Was the impact brought about because I was a woman? I don’t know – I think that who I am has a lot to do with being a woman because that’s my paradigm and were I a man I’m not sure I would have written many of the posts I have written – so I guess that’s a yes.

5. What contribution to the blog world do you feel women bring to the table that male bloggers do not? Or is there no gender gap between male and female bloggers?

I don’t know if I’d call it a gender gap – I don’t really like that term but there doesn’t seem to be another to replace it – but I will say that women do bring something special to the table – their humanity, appreciation for all the small pieces of beauty in the world and a sense of community that I don’t think is native to most men. Not that men are all uncaring bastids, that’s not true at all (I happen to think men are quite the lovely creatures, actually) – I just think women are more likely to reach out, help, nuture, care, worry about you if don’t post for a week, and just generally, notice the details.

6. Are women bloggers held to a different standard than male bloggers? If so, what is the difference – e.g. what is taboo to a female blogger but okay for a male blogger or vice versa? Inequalities??? Not taken as seriously?

Yeah, I think they are. Particularly when it comes the baudier content. Men can pretty much get as gross as the day is long and people will throng to their blogs and get a hoot out of it. Women though, I think have to approach it a little more carefully, set the stage a bit longer and develop a readership first. And too, I don’t think women are taken as seriously as men with certain topics, like politics for example. I sometimes do political posts and I have had some serious ambushes from readers who really challenged me as though I were an idiot. If I’d been a man posting the very same thing, I don’t believe that those attacks would have come about – there might have been some lively debate but it would have been good hearted instead of mean.

7. If you could change anything in the way female bloggers are regarded in the blog world, what would it be?

I would like to see women bloggers just be thought of as bloggers. That a female power blogger doesn’t have to be a Dooce clone to be that. And honestly, no offense to Dooce, but what’s up with that standard? We have to be rude and outspoken to be taken seriously and be read? The problem I see in general in the blogosphere is that there is way too much pandering to the crowd. Meaning, we spend all this time trying to figure out what will bring in the big stats and start writing to that, rather than writing what means most to us and bringing ‘the crowd’ up to our level. Believe me, I’m as guilty of it as the next blogger and every time I do it, I want to kick myself. We shouldn’t be so seduced by the stat counters and the anylytics programs, unless really it’s just about the attention and frankly you can get more attention getting drunk with B list celebrities than going to all the brain strain that the pandering entails.

8. If you could have your wildest dreams come true as a blogger and create whatever impact you wanted, because you had thousands of undying loyal readers, what would it be?

I have to say, I love to inspire dialogue with people. I love to get people thinking, not necessarily what I think, but just thinking. I believe that a thinking person makes the world a better place. There would be so much less reactionary crap from high school shoot outs, to road rage, going on, if people thought more and were more thoughtful. Also, too, I want a fucking book deal. If the cat guy and the stupid white people guy can get one, then hell, it’s my turn.

9. Anything else that you feel separates female bloggers from male bloggers that you want to expound on?

Just a casual observation that female bloggers seem to be coming into their own and perhaps male bloggers are dwindling. Or maybe there always were more women bloggers but they used to be a lot quieter? Hard to say. It just seems that way to me. But I’m happy to report that I think women have finally found a good use for the internet.

And so concludes our not too scientific women’s study on blogging, bloggers – male & female and all things good and wise. I really had fun with this. I hope you did too. And I wanted to throw out this idea – I would love it if any of you lady bloggers out there had similar ideas for posts such as this and would like to do a cooperative project. So, if anybody has an idea they want to shoot over to me – please feel free. I think that addressing women’s issues, blogging and otherwise are important to our community and a lot fun too. Thanks!

PS: And this is a special p.s. to Gerry – if you can get 14 men bloggers who want to do the same questions, etc. I’ll do a post and give equal time. Never let it be said that I am not an equal opportunity blogger. Or, if the mood strikes you, do it yourself and let me know when the post is up. 🙂

Women + Blogosphere = Impact – Part II

So, yesterday, we talked about the survey and who the players are. Now we get to the interesting part – below the consensus as well as the quotable quotes I promised (in ital)

1. What do you believe is the difference between men and women bloggers – e.g. approach, subject matter, readers, etc.

59% said that women bloggers wrote more about personal issues, their feelings and about life as opposed to men who wrote less subtle, less personal subjects & topics
25% felt there was no significant difference
17% felt it varied from blogger to blogger despite their gender.

I suspect women write more from the heart, talking more about feelings and emotions than men. Women are more insightful and intuitive about other people.

I believe that men and women pay attention to different things. Though both men and women may blog about politics, I think sometimes the focus will be different because the concerns are different. I tend to believe that several women are a little more careful in speaking their minds- not always! And that’s not a bad thing.

I found that in general (there are always exceptions!) the sites written by men were blatantly crass. The sites written by females, however, seemed to be funny in a much more subtle manner.

Men talk about specific subjects. Women talk about LIFE.

I feel women bloggers are more attached to their readers and are faster to respond to their readers comments and posts. I also feel that female bloggers are more willing to talk about their family and love lives in greater detail than male bloggers.

Perhaps me noting a stereotype, I don’t know.. only based on LIMITED exposure. I find that there are TONS of blogs by guys about technicial things – how to do this, how to do that related to IT, programming, software, etc. It’s like this blogosphere is an extension of their garage as they tell their neighbours and everyone else, how to fix cars, (except instead, they talk about how to fix computer-related things.)

I tend towards a certain flavour of blog and so I find men and women that write within a certain genre and I honestly don’t see that much difference between the two. For example, I read a few
poetry blogs and I honestly can’t tell the difference between the female writers and the male writers in terms subject matter, readers,etc.

Men seem to write what they think will attract the most readers. Women are more inclined to write what they think

There are exceptions of course, but I haven’t seen many male bloggers that include a lot of personal details about their lives.

2. Do you feel men bloggers have a greater impact in the blog world than women – such as more readers, more loyalty, wider range of topics/interests, greater appeal to male and female readers alike, etc.

34% felt women had a greater impact
34% felt men had a greater impact
17% felt it depended on the individual blogger
15% felt men were taken more seriously

Your opinion is, or should be, more important than your gender. If you also have the readership, wide appeal, and reputation, the impact should naturally follow.

Men, but I think that readers take them more seriously because it’s ingrained in us to take what men say more seriously.

I see many more male bloggers get book deals, get famous, etc. Look at Perez Hilton. He’s even been on a reality tv show.

Both have a great impact on their readership. I do think women are more diverse where men tend to stick to one topic.

I am personally more impacted by topics that I can relate to and being a woman, I find that I relate to a lot of discussions, thoughts and ideas that take place in the female blogging arena.

Quite the opposite actually. Again, men seem more inclined to write on topics that attract people as opposed to what they want to write. I’ve known more men guilty of writing for others rather than for themselves than women. Yes, some women do it, but overall it’s mostly men

My view of the blogosphere is completely skewed because I read mostly women’s blogs. So in my eyes, women rule the blogosphere.

3. When you decided to start blogging – did you have a particular effect/impact you wanted to create? If so, what was it? Did it change once you started blogging?

47% started blogging for reasons to do with personal growth/outlets
39% started blogging for exposure to their writing, feedback and/or to start writing regularly
9% started blogging in order to have a positive impact on others
9% started blogging in order to just have an outlet and blow off steam
23% said that their original focus changed
77% said that their original focus is still the current focus of their blogs

I’ve always kept journals but didn’t want to go public with anything that personal, so I drifted more into commentary. If I’m harboring any illusions now, it might be that there are fewer people out there blogging from my perspective, age-wise, so maybe that works to my advantage.

I wanted to get feedback on my fiction. I wanted people to read it and be haunted, demand I write my book right away, quote me.

I also think i write just what is expected of me. I don’t know how I feel about that.

I would create a safe place for others to be real. To be real and perfect and fragile and failing and wonderful…all at the same time. I try to ‘teach’ by example.

I started to blog because I was a frustrated writer. My goal is still to give people a good chuckle, but solely now based on the ups and downs on male/female interactions.

I just wanted a creative outlet to help myself feel validated (as in, see, I DID do something today).

All I was trying to do was to start writing again in some fashion.

I wanted to record things that happened in my life that were important, funny or that I wanted to remember.

I write to share what works for me, I write to tell of my journey, I write in the hopes that someone may find value in what they read, but if it doesn’t happen, I’m good with that too, because my heart is in simply writing for me and it feels wonderful!

I started blogging as therapy thinking no one would read my blog but my sister and maybe my daughter. I just didn’t expect so many people to read my blog.

I started as a way to connect with my friends and distract myself from my job. Over time, blogging evolved for me into something completely different. I am still grappling with what that is.

I’m a blogger blagger. My blog today is more like a personal journal I share with the world. It’s where I wake up and sit and ramble on to myself. Quite risky really. I write all the posts and write all the comments to. On one of my co-dependancy posts, I’ve wrote something like 80 comments. That post has actually saved my life.

All I wanted to have was somewhere to get the thoughts out of my head and come up with maybe a few good posts. That hasn’t changed

Began as a place to blow off creative energy and share my children with family members and friends. It’s still that blog, in a way. But in other ways, it’s so much more. It’s the record of our lives, albeit slightly colored through the lens of the blog. It’s definitely helped me hone my writing skills, and enabled me to feel a little more comfortable within my own writing skin.

4. Regardless of whatever effect you set out to create by blogging, do you feel that you’ve had an impact by being a female blogger? If so, how and/or in what way? Who/what did you impact?

77% believe they have in fact had an impact of some sort by blogging
23% don’t believe they have had any impact by blogging

If I were to have an impact, I would hope it would come from what I had to say rather than whether I was a woman.

I would love to discuss women in the world, how our bodies are used against us, how our focus and priorities are seen as light, fluff and when we try to be edgier, we’re not feminine or we’re trying too hard.

Fortunately, I do feel like I’ve had a positive impact by blogging. It seems that I’ve had equal impact on the guys and gals – the one thing they DO seem to have in ‘common’ is a desire to grow and mature into more loving ‘awake’ people.

Absolutely! Again, based on what I write, I bring the female perspective to the table. And in general, women are more outspoken in their empathy. While men may relate to someone’s story, they don’t necessarily say too much about it. When I am reading other people’s blogs, I comment when what they write about triggers an empathetic story in me. I rarely write one-liners when I comment. I want to share my knowledge and learn from theirs. I think men tend more towards networking, which is sharing information. Women lean more towards building communities, which is sharing wisdom.

Yes because I show that you can have a gabillion mis-haps (ever seen me with an appliance?) and I’m not any less of a woman/mom than anyone else. I think people need to see that.

At the very least I shed to light to issues that affect women, such as health issues and the struggles women have while looking for work. I see that not only do my faithful readers learn about these things, but people are searching for these health issues that mainly affect women. I’ve even impacted myself as I discover and read other female bloggers sharing about their own diseases.

If I’ve had an impact, I hope that the people who read my blog will look at the world just a little differently. Maybe not take themselves or life situations so seriously all the time, and be able to laugh at themselves a little. I also want people to appreciate the little things, and to look for what is really important to them in life. I want people to notice what is going on around them.

Have I made an impact on her life? Absolutely! Did being female having anything to do with it? I think the only way is that she relates to me. She’s also a mother, also busy, also all kinds of things we all are, and she’s been able to see how I can juggle all my balls, and still be incredibly happy and living life fully.

I don’t ever discuss politics or religion. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I don’t want to debate about what I write. I hope that my humor puts smiles on people’s faces.

In a weird way, I think I have had somewhat of an impact by being a female blogger. I know that when my baby twins died and I blogged about it and my grief, a lot of people emailed me and some of them
thanked me for being so honest about my emotions because it helped them in their loss.

I’m not convinced I’ve had any impact at all. I’ve perhaps generated a little traffic for those I think others will enjoy, but that’s certainly not what I set out to do.

I hope I make an impact. I hope that people read my blog and laugh. I also want people see that Stay at Home Moms are smart, articulate, and educated. And did I mention damn funny? I hope my blog reflects that. We are Stay At Home Moms by choice, not circumstance.

5. What contribution to the blog world do you feel women bring to the table that male bloggers do not? Or is there no gender gap between male and female bloggers?

70% believe there is no gender gap in the blogosphere and that it is the individual who brings whatever they bring to the blogging table.
30% believe there is a gender gap and it is tilted in the direction of men

Humanity. Compassion.

Oh, there is certainly a gender gap. This is why Hillary didn’t get the nomination people. Men love their power and I see discrimination every day towards women, and not just in the blog community. Look at the top 100 Blogs on WordPress and just see how many of the top bloggers are male. And look at the latest blog to get a book deal Stuff that White People Like – ran by a male blogger.

I think women are not afraid to show their emotions. Some men can write with feeling, but I find that blogs by men are more straightforward, while blogs by women can be more emotional.

Women bring a more personal note to the table. Men seem to hold back on the personal stuff where a woman will be more open and let her true feelings show. I have read a few blogs by men who do show their feelings but certainly not as many as woman bloggers do.

6. Are women bloggers held to a different standard than male bloggers? If so, what is the difference – e.g. what is taboo to a female blogger but okay for a male blogger or vice versa? Inequalities??? Not taken as seriously?

59% feel that men/women bloggers are on equal footing, no double standard
41% feel that there is a double standard and that men can ‘get away’ with more than women

Men, boys, all of them have free reign. Whatever is practiced in society is definitely going to translate into cyberspace- friendship, classism, a sense of community, sexism, racism, thirst for knowledge, a need for art and creative release, etc.

I’m looking to make a positive impact on somebody’s life, simply by retelling my own life experiences…I’m trusting that God will draw the ‘right’ people and the ‘right’ time, for connection.

I’m no expert, but I feel that people are more drawn to certain types of blogs because they are written by males. I don’t have the answer why this happens, but it happens. There are plenty of very very funny female bloggers out there, but I just see enough of the ladies profiled as often as the male bloggers are. Historically women were never taken seriously. I work at a job where all of the men hold all of the power making decisions .. and I always hear stupid comments like she is just on her period or just being a chic or you know how women are … It’s so offensive, but it happens all the time.

I wonder if men are a little more fearless when it comes to blogging. However, I believe blogging gives women a chance to say things, especially anonymously, that they would never dream of saying out loud in their day to day life.

7. If you could change anything in the way female bloggers are regarded in the blog world, what would it be?

34% want to make changes that are personal themselves and their needs
18% feel huge strides have already been made and should continue
17% wanted to eliminate bias against women
17% want to eliminate any standards not the blogger’s own
17% want an equal playing field

My only ‘change’ would be how the female bloggers regard THEMSELVES!!

I am going to step out on a limb here, but I personally do not like the term Mommy Blogger. The women who are slotted into the Mommy Blogger category have so much more to say and contribute than that. It’s about supporting and sharing and teaching and learning.

I think they are making HUGE strides. The way it’s going now, in the next year, I think we’ll be light years ahead of what men have done in the last 5 years combined.

I wonder if some people think that female bloggers mostly blog about their children, families, religion or weight loss. Really, there are so many fantastic female bloggers out there, and it is a shame if they are all put into the same category.

8. If you could have your wildest dreams come true as a blogger and create whatever impact you wanted, because you had thousands of undying loyal readers, what would it be?

70% have the goal of inspiring/impacting/influencing people’s lives for the better
23% want to entertain
8% want personal recognition for their writing

I’d love to have a book deal drop into my lap, like what happened to the guy at “Stuff White People Like.” (That way you skip the whole write-submit-pray-cry-repeat cycle). And people might say of me, “Wow, she’s deep” or quote me because I’d said something so well. I’d use a pen name, of course, because all that attention would embarrass the hell out me.

I’d want something positive, thought-provoking and/or beautiful. I’d want to inspire others to move, to act, to examine themselves and question everything.

“Please, God. Just for today, let my life positively impact the life of another. Thanks.”

To influence how men and women view each other. The genders are different in their thought processes and approaches to life. I think we tend to fight against that instead of embracing it.

To show women it’s ok not to be perfect and you can be happy being yourself.

I really just want to entertain and educate my readers … and I hope I do!

I want people to love, educate, discipline and appreciate their children. I want people to enjoy their lives, even while tackling the most mundane tasks. Make lemonade out of lemons, I suppose.

I would love to change one life. I would love to change two or more. If I could make people happier, more satisfied, take control of their lives and learn that simply being is a wonderful way to live, aren’t we all better for it? Imagine removing one more angry, grumpy person from cutting you off while driving… we can only start with ourselves, right? And then hope to expand that message to others. It starts with each of us.

Make people smile. It seems to me that people don’t laugh and smile as much as they used to. There’s so much in the world that is depressing and I don’t want to write about it. Enough people do that. I just want people to visit my blog and hopefully get a good chuckle.

I would like to spread kindness, generosity and inspiration for others to truly be who they are and aspire to follow their dreams. i am all hokey like that, its true.

To make people see that poverty and hunger in a world rich with food and money is ludicrous, thus prompting those with much to give some to those who have little. Sounds dicky I know, but it’s one thing that really makes me shake my head

I would convince all of my readers to convince the rest of the world that fat is the new skinny . .. And then I would tackle World Peace, m’kay??

9. Anything else that you feel separates female bloggers from male bloggers that you want to expound on?

40% feel that women, rather than men, use their blogs as a means of self expression
40% would like to see men be more expressive about their personal feelings on their blogs
20% feel we should all celebrate our differences

I would guess more women than men have the time, and take the time, to blog. Also, I suspect women, more than men, turn to writing as a means of expression

Women and men are different, and we will always think a little bit different from one another. Our differences should be celebrated and not looked down upon.

I’d like to see male bloggers write about their families more. I know about 7 or 8 male bloggers but really know nothing of their families. I know a lot of female bloggers and know a lot more about their families. They talk about their kids and grandkids and husbands but the men don’t.

So, there you have it – the results of my not too scientific study and some very quotable quotes which I hope brought some new insight. Thanks again to my wonderful participants, 30, Panther, Darla, Joanie, Gracie, Daisy, Christine, Girl, Mrs. V., Moe, Jade, Di, Ramblin & Darlene.

Tomorrow, if you’re still with me, I will post my answers to the questions, in part three.